The Transport Achievement Award is awarded by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, an intergovernmental organisation for the transport sector with 54 member countries.
Holland Container Innovations (HCI) was a joint winner of the 2014 Promising Innovation in Transport Award. HCI received the award for its 4FOLD ISO certified foldable container, which significantly reduces the economic and environmental cost of empty container shipment.
Ocean carriers spend about AUD40billion a year on repositioning empty containers to the point of their next cargo. On average, 20% of the containers transported on sea, and 40% transported on land are empty. This economic inefficiency cuts into shipping lines profitability and increases unfavourable greenhouse gas and fine particle emissions. The costs and environmental issues caused by this empty transport can be significantly lowered when shipping lines use foldable containers.
The 4FOLD is the first 40ft HC foldable container in the world that is said to have passed the ISO certification test. When empty it can be folded to a quarter of the height. Four folded containers can be bundled to the same dimensions as a standard container. Folding and unfolding of the container takes about four minutes and is done with standard lifting equipment.
A pilot project running between the Netherlands and Spain found that the costs of the empty transport were reduced to such an extent that it was cheaper to use a container in a multimodal setup than to use a truck on the road. Use of the foldable container therefore stimulates modal shift in a natural way.
The jury highlighted the significant potential offered by this innovation for “improving efficiency within the most prevalent freight movement mode globally”, both for the transport and the storage of containers.
“The 4FOLD foldable container provides a solution to one of the largest issues in present day transport – the issue of empty container movements and the related environmental impact”, said Simon Bosschieter, CEO of Holland Container Innovations, the company behind the 4FOLD design. “We are proud to win this prestigious award and aim to leverage the exposure to further expand our global client base in shipping and rail.”